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The Kremlin Accuses Facebook Of Censorship Amid Ukraine Invasion

By Cristian Bustos. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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The Kremlin accused Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Facebook of censoring Russian media and has limited access to the platform. According to Russia’s communication regulator, Facebook is ignoring requests to cancel restrictions and the fact-checking of information provided by four media outlets.


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Media Restrictions

As reported by Reuters, Facebook is facing pressure from Moscow to lift the restrictions on RIA news agency, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda TV, and gazeta.ru and lenta.ru. By not complying with the Kremlin’s request, Meta is being accused of censorship and is limiting access to the platform.

In a Twitter statement, Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said: “Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labeling of content posted to Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations.”

“We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services,” he added.

Russia’s move is seen as another attempt to press on U.S. social media giants and exert control over internet content, to contain opponents of the government.

Domestic Censorship

Meta is teaming up with third-party fact-checkers to regulate content on the platform —when rated as false, partly false, or manipulated, the content is shown to fewer users.

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s regulator, said in a statement “In accordance with the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office, starting from Feb. 25, partial access restrictions are being imposed by Roskomnadzor on the Facebook social network.”

Moscow is also attempting to block domestic media content that it rates as “false information” when covering the ongoing military operations in Ukraine—reports include those of Russian missiles hitting Kyiv and prompting the evacuation of entire families.

“Meta has already irked Russia’s authorities. Moscow routinely fines the company small sums for what it says is a failure to delete illegal content quickly enough,” Reuters reports.

Meta is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.

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